If you’ve purchased a new Roku device or have had to purchase (or are thinking about purchasing) a replacement remote, in order for it to work properly it needs to be paired with your device.
Pairing your Roku remote with your device without using a pairing button is possible, as long as you have the correct remote and your Roku device is already connected to your Wi-Fi. You can also use the Roku App to temporarily control your Roku device using your smartphone.
Table of Contents
- How Roku Remotes Work
- Will My Remote Work?
- Pairing Your IR Roku Remote
- Pairing Your RF Remote Without Using the Pairing Button
- Troubleshooting for Roku IR Remotes
- Troubleshooting for Roku RF Remotes
- Other Less Common Causes
How Roku Remotes Work
Before you can figure out how to pair your Roku remote with your device, there are a few important things you should know about how these remotes work. There are two different types of Roku remotes.
Infrared or IR remotes work by using infrared light to communicate between devices. These are the remotes that need to be pointed directly at your devices so the infrared sensor can pick up the IR signal from the remote.
Roku TV’s utilize IR remotes and IR sensors, and the remote that comes with your Roku TV should work directly out of the box without the need to pair the two together. These are the remotes that commonly do not have a pairing button.
Some versions will include a pairing button on the front of the remote at the very bottom, but that is more common in older Roku models. You’ll know if your remote is IR because it will have a small, clear, plastic piece on the front. This is called the IR blaster.
Radio Frequency Remotes
Radio frequency remotes, sometimes called RF or “Wi-Fi” remotes operate through radio signals or Wi-Fi. These do not need to be pointed directly at the device and can even operate through walls.
Roku Stick and some versions of small Roku boxes use radio frequency remotes. These need to be paired individually. They have a small pairing button located inside of the remote’s battery compartment.
If you are still not sure what type of remote you are using, look for a button with a microphone symbol. If your Roku remote has this symbol, it is an IF or “Wi-Fi” remote.
Will My Remote Work?
Once you’ve determined what type of remote you have, then you’ll be able to figure out your next steps. If you have found out that you have an IR remote and need to pair it with an RF device, such as the Roku Stick, unfortunately that remote will not work.
But don’t worry, there’s still a way to get your device to work.
Pairing Your IR Roku Remote
If you have an IR remote and you are sure you also have an IR device, then the pairing process is easy.
Simply replace the batteries and point it at your TV. If it has an issue picking up your new IR device, make sure your old device has its batteries removed. If it still does not work, double-check that you have an IR device and that your remote is not damaged.
If your pairing button is not working, is damaged, or you are having issues getting it to pair with your device, you have a couple of options to pair the two together.
Using the Roku Remote App
Roku has an app available on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store, so it will work with Android and iOS devices.
Step 1: Search “Roku Remote” and download the app. It may ask you to sign into your Roku account but it is not necessary to do so. Next, you want to make sure you connect your app to the same Wi-Fi that your Roku device is connected to.
Step 2: On the app, go to the settings menu and click “Remotes/Devices”. The app will start looking for compatible Roku devices. You should be able to select your device and begin controlling your TV through your phone.
Step 3: Now that you can use your phone as a temporary remote, select the settings menu on your TV and click “Remotes/Devices”. This time, your TV will search for compatible remotes and your new remote should be detected.
Pairing Manually Through Your TV
This option will only work if your TV or device has physical buttons on the side that can scroll and select options on the screen.
Step 1: From the home screen, scroll down to the settings menu and select “Remotes/Devices”.
Step 2: Select “pair new device”. Your device will now start searching for compatible remotes.
If this is your first time using your RF Roku device or remote, it should automatically prompt you to login to your account or enter your Roku ID. If you are using a replacement remote, it should begin working right away.
Troubleshooting for Roku IR Remotes
Because these devices do not need to be manually paired via the menu and settings, the most common issue for them not working is that the batteries are dead or there are obstacles getting in the way of the remote and the device.
Make sure the sensor on the device and the IR blaster on the remote are clean and are facing each other without any interference.
Turn all your devices off, remove and replace the batteries, and then restart all of your devices. If all else fails, you may have to replace your remote, but you should still be able to use your Roku App as a remote until the replacement arrives.
Troubleshooting for Roku RF Remotes
If your RF remote still isn’t working, it could be due to either a Wi-Fi connectivity issue or you may need to unpair your old device first.
Check Your Connections
Double-check all Wi-Fi connections in your home to ensure they are working properly. You may need to restart your modem and router, as well as your Roku TV and devices.
Close out of the app, allow it to reload, and try the setup process again.
Unpair Old Devices
If your Roku App is working but your device is still not picking up your new remote, be sure that any previous remotes that it used to connect with are unpaired. There are two different ways to do this.
The first way is to simply use your Roku App or your TV’s manual buttons to scroll down to the settings menu and find the “Remotes/Devices” tab. From there, simply select any old remotes (not including your phone) and click “unpair”.
The next way is to use your old remote, but your old remote must have an “pairing” button. At the same time, hold down the “Pair” button, the “Home” button, and the “Back”. Keep these three buttons depressed until you see your old device disappear from your “Remote/Devices” list or your device’s LED indicator flashes green.
Other Less Common Causes
There are a few other reasons why Roku remotes sometimes don’t function properly.
This is a less common issue. If you are using a Roku Stick that connects to an HDMI cable on your TV, sometimes the HDMI signal can interfere with other wireless capabilities. You may need to purchase an HDMI extender cable to create distance and reduce signal noise.
If you sense that your remote has gotten very hot while using it, it might not work properly until it cools down. To expedite the cooling process, you can:
- Stop using it immediately.
- Take out the batteries.
- Let it rest on a smooth, cool surface for 10-15 minutes.
- Put the batteries back in and start using it again.
Take some time to determine what kind of remote and device you are attempting to sync together. The Roku App is a priceless tool in helping to pair new remotes with your device and as long as you follow the steps correctly, you’ll be enjoying your favorite show again in no time.